China Business

Not So Random China Complaints

Foreign direct investment lawyers

Funny, yet informative post up on Matt Schiavenza Blog, entitled, Random Complaining. [link no longer exits]

Methinks it is not so random.

Schiavenza lists five rants and I focus on the following two:

If for whatever reason I don’t answer my phone, it means

(a) I have it on silent mode because I am busy

(b) I don’t want to talk to you for some reason or

(c) I don’t like having phone conversations at 8am on Saturdays.

It doesn’t mean that if you keep calling, over and over, eventually on the 44th ring I’ll decide to pick up. I realize this problem exists because few people here have voice mail, but could you wait for one hour at least before trying again?

Waitresses: please remember what dishes are unavailable. Twice recently (at a Western-owned restaurant no less) I’ve ordered a meal only to have a waitress come back 20 minutes later to inform me that they’ve run out, and that I would have to order something else. This really is a management issue but it isn’t very pleasant when your table-mate is able to finish his whole meal before yours even arrives.

The phone one. Everyone who does business in or with China has dealt with this one, but I have to say it drives me absolutely nuts and it is just one of the reasons why some of the foreign direct investment lawyers at my law firm are reluctant to represent Chinese companies looking to go into the United States, Europe, or Latin America. One of my firm’s mantras is to make each client feel as though it is our only client, but that cannot include clients who call and email every hour to ask when we will be getting them a document that has no urgency.

The waitress one.
One cannot be in China a week without this happening and I know more than one person who views this as indicative of China’s larger quality control issues. On the flip side, however, I just read how Haier’s rigorous enforcement of quality control is helping them build a strong brand name.

What are your big complaints?

3 responses to “Not So Random China Complaints”

  1. I think the restaurant issue may be a cultural thing that’s hard for Chinese to get over. At a Taiwanese restaurant I went to a lot in Beijing the Taiwanese manager always had to intervene when waitresses got angry when we complained. It seemed that no matter how hard she tried she just couldn’t get them to not get angry at customers because of their own mistakes. Perhaps it was because of poor management on her part, but it looked to me like she was trying to change instincts that wouldn’t change easily.

  2. How can one restaurant chain like “Dong Bei Ren” (quite big in Guangzhou/Shenzhen, don’t know about other parts) kick ass totally on quality consistency and excellent customer service but everyone else just continue to be so pathetic??
    All phones, land lines and mobile, are on perpetual silent mode…

  3. Despite trying to figure it out for ages, I still don’t know what went on in the head of anyone who serialdialed me. Especially when you consider that voicemail and answering machines aren’t exactly ubiquitous. You’d think people would eventually give up on repeat calling or start pressuring one another to get an answering service of some kind.
    As anyone else ever been the recipient of the door knocking equivalent of serialdialing? One city I lived in, I swear the entire population would use a 5-tap knock, and repeat it endlessly for at least 20 minutes. I guess people generally expected one another to pretend not to be home.

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